When should I claim on pet insurance?

Pet insurance is there to cover you, should something happen to your four-legged friend. Here’s our guide to what’s usually covered, when to make a claim and how to go about it.

Pet insurance is there to cover you, should something happen to your four-legged friend. Here’s our guide to what’s usually covered, when to make a claim and how to go about it.

Tom Harrison
Content writer
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Posted 10 OCTOBER 2019

What can I claim for on my pet insurance?

Pet insurance policies differ, depending on the insurance provider and the type of policy you have. Typically speaking, you may be able to claim for:

  • costs of treatment if your pet has an accident
  • costs of treating your pet if it becomes ill
  • a compensation payment, should your pet pass away
  • compensation if you lose your pet – plus cover for the costs of advertising (and possibly a reward), to get your pet home safely
  • liability insurance – for example, if your dog injures another animal or person, or damages property
  • costs of boarding your pet if you need help looking after them, in the event of an illness
  • emergency treatment for your pet when you’re abroad

What can’t I claim for on my pet insurance?

Again, exclusions will vary depending on the policy, but the majority of pet insurance providers won’t cover you for:

  • routine veterinary treatment costs, such as check-ups and vaccinations
  • pre-existing conditions – ie, illnesses your pet was already suffering from before you took out your policy

Another thing to note is that you’ll need to pay any agreed excess, before your insurance cover kicks in. 

When and how should I claim on pet insurance?

You should make a claim as soon as your pet has an accident or is diagnosed with an illness, or within 90 days of paying the vet fees for a condition your pet is suffering from. This is because some policies will pay your vet directly for the cost of treatment, so you’re not left out of pocket.   

There should be a direct number for making a claim in your policy documents – you’ll just need to quote your policy number. The details your provider is most likely to ask for are:

  • The name of any medical condition your pet has been diagnosed with
  • The expected costs of your pet insurance claim. If the claim involves treatment for an accident or illness, your vet should be able to tell you this
  • Any invoices or other evidence to support the cost of the claim.

You’ll be sent a claim form (or you can find one on the provider’s website), which you’ll need to complete in full. If you’re not sure about what information to give, ask your insurance provider to clarify. 

Check whether your insurance provider will pay the vet directly, or if you’ll need to settle the bill and then claim back the cost. If your pet had emergency treatment, you might have already paid the vet so you’ll be claiming for reimbursement on your pet insurance.

Make sure you keep your provider informed at all stages of the treatment process. They’ll need to know if your vet refers your pet for additional treatment, for example.

Check out our handy guide, for more information on how to make a pet insurance claim.

Will my pet insurance costs go up if I make a claim?

More than likely, yes. Your insurance provider may take the view that if you’ve made one claim, you’re more likely to make another – bumping up your premiums as a result.  

The same is true if you’ve had to claim for accidents or for losing your pet.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that an insurance provider will take your pet’s health history into account when considering a new application for insurance. So you might find you’re quoted a higher price than you were expecting. And remember, it’s highly unlikely they’ll cover a pre-existing condition, such as a long-term illness.

So, to make sure you’re getting a good deal when you come to renew your pet insurance, use our simple comparison tool. 

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